Sunday, July 11, 2010


In the past 10 years, ShelterBox has gone from being a tiny group of people working out of the founder's garage to a massive international operation, responding to dozens of disasters every year. ShelterBox now has partnerships with various UN aid agencies - Save the Children, Red Cross/Red Crescent, OXFAM, and others; these organizations now ask for ShelterBox by name in disaster areas, since they know the quality and contents of the box are top-notch.

ShelterBox has sent nearly 15,000 boxes to Haiti this year so far and is also currently attending to disasters in Honduras, El Salvador, Pakistan, and Brazil. Still want more info? Check out

But to summarize this message, 2010 is the 10th anniversary of the formation of ShelterBox, a non-governmental disaster relief organization that specializes in the delivery of a "big green box", loaded with everything an extended family needs following a devastating natural disaster: A large, extremely durable tent, groundsheets and blankets, a wood-burning or gas stove, pots and pants, plates, bowls, cups, cutlery, mosquito nets, water carriers and water filtration or purification equipment and kids' packs to keep the children happy-- all that crammed into a box 2 people can easily carry. The box and its contents allow people not only to survive but also be warm and comfortable. It gives them the hope and dignity needed for them to begin rebuilding their lives after losing everything.

To celebrate, dedicated supporters of ShelterBox and volunteer Response Team members are putting on all sorts of fun and crazy fundraising events. There's a couple cycling 10,000 miles on a tandem bike, hauling a ShelterBox on a custom trailer. There's a group of 3 kayakers paddling for 2 weeks around the treacherous coast of Cornwall, England. There's even a group of 3 rowers crossing the Atlantic by rowboat. There are also tons of local events with Scouts, schools, Rotary clubs, and other key supporters of ShelterBox.

And then there's the climb of Mt. Kilimanjaro!

A group of 12 ShelterBox supporters (7 of them ShelterBox Response Team volunteers) are taking off July 21st and heading to Tanzania to participate in this great adventure... and I was lucky enough to end up being one of them (due to a last-minute cancellation from another participant).

The goal of the climb is to bring attention (and donations, of course) to ShelterBox through media coverage of the event-- BBC is already on board and will be airing daily interviews and updates on the radio during the trip, and also there is already a lot of local coverage in the towns of the various participants. The purpose of getting coverage for ShelterBox is, of course, to raise money for them, as they are 100% reliant on private donations for their operations.

The trip will last just over two weeks during which we'll start off with a visit to a remote Tanzanian school, where a portion of previously-collected donations will be used to outfit the school with proper classroom equipment and books. We'll then start the 7-day trek to the peak of Mount Kilimanjaro, which, at 5,893 m./19,334 ft., makes it the highest point in Africa and the 4th tallest freestanding mountain in the world.

So far this trip has raised close to $14,000 for the charity, which is a fantastic amount, but we're still looking to up that total further.

One of the greatest things about ShelterBox is their commitment to donors. When someone donates to ShelterBox, they know exactly what their donation is for, and they know that as much as possible is going to end up helping the families that need help the most.

Tax-receipts are issued for any donation over $20 (if donation made in Canada or USA). You'll receive information about where in the world your box ends up, if you donate $50 or more.

Donate Online:

Other Support

We're still looking for corporate sponsors to help offset some of the costs of the trip that still aren't paid, such as ground transportation, tips, etc. Cash contributions for this purpose are tax-deductible, too! If you know any companies who would be willing to support us, please let them know about this trip and pass along my contact information. A banner of sponsors will be unfurled at the peak in appreciation of their support (and this photo will be displayed on websites and news stories).

Please let me know if you'd like to be sent an email after the trip with a link to photos and video of the school we visit, the trek, etc.

Sincere thanks for reading and your consideration!

Dave Achtemichuk
ShelterBox Response Team Member

For more information, visit


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